BLM releases assessment on 2017 oil and gas leases, seeks feedback

RBC | Today the Bureau of Land Management began a 30-day public comment period on a preliminary environmental assessment evaluating offering about 100,000 acres of federal minerals in northwestern Colorado for oil and gas leasing in the May 2017 competitive lease sale. The environmental assessment, maps and lease stipulations are available for review at on.doi.gov/2fAHITp. The proposal includes 20 parcels totaling 27,529 acres in Grand County; 12 parcels totaling 9,155 acres in Jackson County; four parcels totaling 1,928 acres in Moffat County; 45 parcels totaling 45,159 acres in Rio Blanco County; and 25 parcels totaling 16,885 acres in Routt County. The BLM received 119 comments during the public scoping period announced in August to help identify issues to be addressed in this environmental assessment. “Public involvement is an important part of our evaluation of the proposal,” said Northwest District Manager Andrew Archuleta. “The most effective comments during this comment period will be specific to the proposal and the environmental assessment.” Comments need to be received by Dec. 12, 2016. They should be e-mailed to blm_co_may_2017_ lease_sale@blm.gov, or mailed to the White River Field Office, Attn: May 2017 Lease Sale, 220 E. Market St., Meeker, Colo., 81641. The State of Colorado receives 49 percent of the proceeds from each mineral lease sale and from mineral royalties, with the remainder going to the U.S. government. In Fiscal Year 2015, Colorado received about $247 million from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for all federal minerals, including oil and gas. Statewide, more than 22,900 jobs are tied to mineral and energy development on public lands. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.